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Angry Old Woman

April 9, 2010

My mother taught me as a child not to whine. For whining is for babies and it never gets you anywhere. Yet at this very moment, I’ve got two emotions racing through my body: fear and anger. So I believe I’m justified in ignoring my Mommy’s advice and whine some.

Note to the reader: Before you dive into my self-pity indulgence, I’d like you to keep in mind that I’m also the one who wrote Playing the blame game. So I’m not entirely a hopeless case.

Approximately 6 billion a year

One of the headlines this week in our Dutch news read: Immigratie kost Nederlanders 6 miljard per jaar (translation: Immigration costs the Dutch 6 billion a year). The article describes the tentative results of a research commissioned by Geert Wilders.

Even though I know this piece of ‘news’ has election stunt written all over it, it’s a headline that grabs me by the throat because of its double standards. In the news, Wilders explains that ethnic minorities cost the Dutch at least this amount, because “they have higher crime rates and most of them are on welfare”.

Personally, I believe the Dutch Judicial system to be flawed and not blind when dealing with ethnic minorities. But this isn’t an issue I want to whine about.

Last one in, first one out

What bothers me is the easy assumption that ‘a high percentage of ethnic minorities are on welfare’. That’s the part where the double standard kicks in.

It’s common knowledge that in times of economic crises, the average Dutch employer isn’t eager to hire any member of an ethnic minority group. This practice has been going on forever and sadly enough I’ve grown used to it.

I even accept it in a warped sort of way. Fact is I belong to a group that’s the last one in and the first one out where employment is concerned. It’s just the way it is. So I’m not going to whine about this either.

I am not Houdini

In Have it — Have it not I talk about the difficulties older employees face in the present crisis. Among others, the risk of being divided into two categories: those who have work and fear losing it and those who lost their jobs and fear they’ll never work again.

With me slowly but surely approaching the Big 5-0, I can taste the panic on the back of my tongue. The prospects up to now have not been very favourable and I’m slowly but surely fearing ending up in the second category.

And yes, this is what I am going to whine about. Wilders is blaming me as an ethnic minority for not being employed. Completely ignoring the short-sighted short term thinking employer. It’s like tying me up Houdini style and then (as I’m not a magician) accusing me of not being able to swim my way out of it!

This is so frustrating and enraging.

Dare you: prove me wrong

I know my mother would not be very proud of me right now. I’ve whined like a baby. And for all the whining I’ve done, it’s not going to change a single little thing.

Even so, I’d like to get something out of this. With your permission, I want to dare you.
Please, prove me wrong. Prove to me that what I’ve just whined to you about, are nothing but the senseless anxieties and ravings of an angry old woman.

Anger can be a good emotion if it keeps you motivated and helps you get things done. However, if you hold on to it for too long, it blocks and stupefies you.

Again, please prove to me that I’m ranting. Don’t leave me hanging here.
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